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Posted: Dec 11, 2013
Energy Department invests $13 million to drive innovative U.S. solar manufacturing
(Nanowerk News) Building on the Energy Department’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, the Department today announced over $13 million for five projects to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing and speed commercialization of efficient, affordable photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. As part of the Department’s SunShot Initiative, these awards will help lower the cost of solar electricity, support a growing U.S. solar workforce and increase U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy market.
“The strong, continued growth in the U.S. solar industry over the past few years is giving more and more Americans access to affordable clean energy,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “We have a tremendous opportunity for American manufacturing to lead the global clean energy market and help pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
According to a new U.S. solar industry report , the U.S. solar market continues to grow – reaching record-breaking levels. In Q3 2013, the United States installed 930 megawatts of photovoltaic, up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and representing the second largest quarter in solar installations in U.S. history. Cumulatively, solar capacity has already surpassed 10 gigawatts and by the end of the year more than 400,000 solar projects will be operating across the country.
During President Obama’s first term, the United States more than doubled generation of electricity from wind, solar and geothermal sources. To ensure America’s continued leadership position in clean energy, the President has set a goal to double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020. As the cost of solar continues to fall and deployment expands, strong domestic manufacturing will help make solar technologies even more affordable, while giving more and more American families and businesses access to affordable, clean energy.
Matched by over $14 million in private cost share, the Energy Department’s investment will help five companies in California, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Oregon develop cost-effective manufacturing processes for photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. For example, Colorado-based Abengoa Solar will develop new methods to produce concentrating solar power trough systems, helping to lower overall production costs and support easy and quick on-site assembly. PPG Industries, headquartered in Pennsylvania, will lead a project to cut solar module manufacturing costs in half, while Georgia-based Suniva will develop a low-cost highly efficient silicon photovoltaic cell.
Broadly, the Energy Department investment announced today will help drive affordable, efficient solar power in the United States and help industry partners meet the SunShot Initiative’s goal to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. These awards also support the Department’s broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to increase the efficiency of the U.S. manufacturing sector and ensure that clean energy technologies continue to be made in America. Find additional information on these efforts as well as the Energy Department’s American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit in Washington, D.C. this week.